Steelers Have Work to Do
Click on the picture for the press conference
I thought the whole purpose of the new overtime rules was to prevent the team who won the toss to have the big advantage. Eleven seconds after the first try at the new overtime rules makes it very clear that this new system is not doing what it was supposed to do.
Here is a good article by Clyde Speller that basically sums it up.
It is very unfortunate for any team in the wildcard round of the playoffs to have to travel to play against a team that has a worse record than they do. The 11-5 Pittsburgh Steelers had to do such a thing when they went to Sports Authority Field at Mile High to face the 8-8 Denver Broncos.
The rules state that in the wildcard round of the playoffs, the division winner is to host the game. However, this shouldn’t be the case if the division winner has a record that isn’t better than their opponent. If the rules were made so that the team with the better record host the wildcard game, then the result of this Steelers-Broncos game would have been totally different.
Granted,Pittsburgh had injuries on the offensive side of the ball with running back Rashard Mendenhall (knee) and center Maukice Pouncey (ankle), but the x-factor in this game was the absence of safety Ryan Clark. Clark couldn’t play in Denver’s high altitude due to a sickle cell trait that he has. Had the Steelers played inPittsburgh, Clark could have been just what the Steelers’ secondary needed to contain Tim Tebow, who passed for a career-high 316 yards.
This isn’t the only time that this has played a factor in the wildcard round. In last year’s wildcard round in the NFC, the 11-5 New Orleans Saints had to travel to face the 7-9 NFC West champion Seattle Seahawks. This game resulted in the Saints, a better team, losing to the Seahawks, the first team in NFL history to win a division with a losing record.
It makes no sense for any team to be three games over .500, and have to go on the road to face a team that barely has an even record. The NFL finally got the Collective Bargaining Agreement solved for the next 10 years, now it’s time to start fixing some other things as well–and changing the rules for the wildcard round would be a good place to start.
This brings back memories of the time where Jerome Bettis called heads, the coin was heads, but the referee gave the ball to the other team. Of course Pittsburgh lost that game as the other team scored a field goal and the game was over. What is it with the Steelers and overtime???
Feel free to comment your thoughts on this post!!!
Ben Roethlisberger has thrown interceptions before where a score for the opposing team is the result. But in yesterday’s game, he threw an interception to his own receiver!
You could say that Mike Wallace stepped in front of Antonio Brown to intercept the Roethlisberger pass and carried it into the end zone. That is exactly what happened.
Here is some info and a video that shows the incredible interception.
What a play by all involved. Big Ben scrambled and kept the play alive while Mike Wallace followed his quarterback, adjusted his route and made a big play. That only leaves Antonio Brown. OK, so maybe it wasn’t a great play …
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Terrell Suggs begged Hines Ward to play in Sunday’s game. He also gave credit to the Steelers and he asked refs not to throw any flags for late hits. All this during a conference call with Pittsburgh reports and Baltimore reporters while talking up the game.
Sunday night is going to be exciting!
Here are some quotes that Suggs has made regarding the Pittsburgh Steelers (from Yahoo.com)
• “We have been declared war upon. We are the enemy of the state.”
• “[Heinz Field] is my Madison Square Garden. I love playing in this stadium, I love the way the people treat me, the welcoming they give me with the No. 1’s. I love it. We’re going on the road in probably the toughest stadium to play in the NFL. We’re expecting a physical football game. This is football.”
• “I’m looking right at you 86. I need you to play. Please put on that 86, that smile and all the things you do. We need all that for this game.”
• “They’re definitely going to have some ‘Let’s get after them’ to their game. But in hindsight, who knocked us out of the playoffs last year? In 2008, a certain team beat us to go to the Super Bowl, and danced all over the field, held up the AFC Championship trophy. We had to sit by and watch that. There’s a little salt in the wound on both sides.” [Note: Sounds like there’s only salt in one side’s wound.]
• “We know what this game’s about. [Expletive] it. Let’s do it.”
• “I love all those guys, of course. There’s nobody I hate. Come on now. I’m a Baltimore Raven and you ask me do I hate anybody in Pittsburgh. I think you gotta answer that question yourself.”
• “The defense is a means of survival in every division if you don’t got the pretty boy from up north. If you don’t got him, then you better have a good defense. And it showed last week that even that won’t get it done for you.”
• (On watching Pittsburgh beat Tom Brady(notes) and New England last week.) “It was a lose-lose game for me. I like when they hit him but, like I said, whatever the outcome of the game, I couldn’t win.”
• “Fifty-five is going to be on the field regardless, even if I got one shoulder.”
• (On his earlier statement that he owned Ben Roethlisberger(notes).) “[Thunderous laughter] No man owns anybody, but if there’s anybody who can bring him down single-handedly by themselves, it’s definitely me. But I’m pretty sure he has something in store to make sure I don’t have a good day.”
• “If a ref throws a flag of personal foul or illegal hitting, I think he’s robbing the fans and he’s robbing both teams. Let us play football. Let us all go in a room and lock the door.”
Sunday night is going to be an incredible night of football. Like him or hate him, Terrell Suggs makes it a little more exciting and adds fuel to the already flammable Ravens/Steelers rivalry.
According to a recent article by Fan IQ, coach John Harbaugh states that the Baltimore Ravens are ready and able to defeat the Steelers once again.
Here is the article below – you decided for yourself if coach Harbaugh is delusional or not:
Harbaugh praised the Ravens for showing unbroken wits against the Cardinals, where the match could have turned until the final whistle. Harbaugh said that if the Ravens displayed similar composure against the Steelers this week, they can defeat them for the second time this season. Ravens thrashed the Steelers 35-7 away in the season opener.
Harbaugh stated that the Ravens (5-2) had proven their strength by defeating teams like the New York Jets and Steelers this season. Harbaugh also extolled his star quarterback, Joe Flacco who has been in immaculate form this season. Flacco passed for 336 yards but remained without a touchdown against the Cardinals. Meanwhile, running back Ray Rice had 63 yards rushing yards and wide receiver Anquan Boldin had 145 yards receiving yards.
Punter Sam Koch has also been in good form, and has shown desire to clock more time on field. In a recent press release Koch stated that he would like to have more hang time on the punt, responding to that Harbaugh said, “Yeah. He could get more hang time. Sam wants to do it right. I don’t know exactly off the top of my head what the hang time was; I don’t think it was terrible. But, if you hang it up there and force a fair catch, then you don’t have a return. He’s capable of doing that. It’s either that or you put it on the sideline. [There have been] plenty of times Sam has done that. So, I think that’s what he’s talking about. But we’ve got to cover it better, no doubt.”
Recently, it has been noticed that Flacco has been playing a lot of shotgun formation, especially in Delaware. Moreover, Flacco has been shining beacon in the tactic. Harbaugh commented on the issue saying that Flacco had worked very hard on the ‘shotgun’. Harbaugh said, “We’ve done a lot of it since he’s been here. We’ve been in the shotgun a ton. Will we do more of it? I think it depends on the situation. Yeah, if it gives us the best chance to move the ball. [Will we do it] more than we did last year, more than we did in one game? I’m not sure what you’re talking about. But, you’ve got to have him under the center, too. There are formations that he’s going to be under center. There are certain concepts that run better from under center. But, we like him in the gun. We like him under center, too. He’s been effective in the shotgun, that’s true.”
The Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers have truly become one of the biggest, if not the best, rivalries in the NFL. This is sure to be the game of the week – everyone is already talking about it.
Whether or not the Ravens can perform up to their coach’s expectations is yet to be seen. One thing for sure…. the Steelers are not the same team that showed up in week 1 at Baltimore. Fasten your seatbelts – this is going to be a wild ride!!
The Patriots and Steelers is no doubt the game of the week in the NFL. The Steelers have historically struggled against the Patriots, but is that changing?
Here’s an article we found from the Sun Chronical in Easton, MA
If there’s any team in the National Football League that should have an inferiority complex where the New England Patriots are concerned, it’s the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Since their garishly yellow-hued Heinz Field opened in 2001, the Patriots have visited five times and won four of them – including two AFC Championship Games.
That’s quite a slap in the face to a city that still can’t surrender the notion that it were somehow cheated out of two Super Bowl championships because of the videotaping scandal called “Spygate” that came to light in 2007. Even as recently as last week, a preview story of Sunday’s game (4:15 p.m.; Ch. 4, 12) written by a staff writer of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review named Scott Brown (presumably no relation to the commonwealth’s junior U.S. Senator) had “Spygate” front-and-center in two of the first three paragraphs.
Truth is, it’s no picnic to play at Heinz Field. Its grass field is usually rutted and barren between the hashmarks by this time of the season, the green hue more attributable to paint than chlorophyll. Capricious winds blow through the south end zone from the confluence of the Ohio, Allegheny and Monongahela rivers, said to have driven former Steelers’ kicker Kris Brown to the brink of madness because he could not convert a field goal when kicking into the end of the stadium where the rivers meet. And while it doesn’t affect the field physically, the stomping of 65,500 predominantly Steelers fans can cause the steel framework of the stadium to shake and sway, and the constant din emanating from their mouths can certainly affect play-calling, especially in the enclosed north end zone.
Patriots’ quarterback Tom Brady, who played in only half of one of those four victories, cited the lone loss (34-20 on Halloween 2004) as an example of how his mastery of the Steelers may not be as much of a lock as it may seem. “It was a tough day for us,” Brady said. “That was a rough day. They were going crazy, the towels were waving and the fans were really into it. It’s a great stadium. It’s very loud. It’s a very imposing stadium.
“What makes it the most imposing is the way that (the Steelers) play and their physical style,” he continued. “I think they’ve always had that hallmark there of what they try to accomplish on defense, which really sets the tone for their offense. They’re a tough team that’s always run the ball well that’s always played good defense. Then when they get ahead of you, they can rush the passer. They’ve got a lot tough blitz combinations that they bring to force the ball out quickly. Quarterbacks don’t typically have a lot of time, and the crowd going crazy obviously doesn’t help the communication with the offense very much.”
The Patriots turned the ball over four times in that 2004 loss, three of them Brady’s fault (two interceptions and a lost fumble). They were also missing running back Corey Dillon for the game with a bad ankle (and gained only 5 rushing yards as a result), and cornerback Ty Law suffered an ankle injury 10 minutes into the first quarter and did not return, which was a boost for then-rookie quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.
Brady also made an early exit from his first visit to Heinz Field, the victim of a sprained ankle when he had his legs taken out from under him by the Steelers’ Lee Flowers while following through on a 28-yard completion to Troy Brown with 1:40 left in the first half of the 2001 AFC title game.
Drew Bledsoe, idle for nearly four months because of the chest injury suffered four months earlier against the Jets, threw an 11-yard TD pass to David Patten just before halftime to send the Patriots on their way to the 24-17 win and a date in New Orleans with the St. Louis Rams in Super Bowl XXXVI.
But Brady was at the top of his game in the 2004 AFC Championship Game at Heinz. Despite the 11-degree cold at the start of the Jan. 23, 2005, game, he didn’t make the mistakes he made in the first meeting of that season with the Black and Gold, completing 14 of 21 passes for 207 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions for a gaudy 130.5 passer rating. The 41-27 victory sent them to Super Bowl XXXIX in Jacksonville against Philadelphia. “The Steelers are pretty tough to beat at home,” Brady said. “We’ve been fortunate to do it a few times, but I tell you that the times we’ve beaten them, we’ve had to play very, very, very good games, and we have. I think that’s probably what I am most proud of. Some of our greatest games that we’ve ever played have been against them and that’s just the level of execution.”
Steelers’ coach Mike Tomlin, who replaced Bill Cowher in 2007, has been a party to only one of the Heinz Field losses to the Patriots – last year’s 39-26 thumping on Nov. 14. In that game, Brady posed his 31st career 300-yard game, completing 30 of 43 passes for 350 yards and throwing three touchdown passes, all to tight end Rob Gronkowski, who established a new team rookie record for TDs in a season.
“They beat us pretty convincingly,” Tomlin said. “You come away with that thought process but not anything groundbreaking. I think we have to play better. We have to prepare better, we have to put together a better plan than we did a year ago and ultimately we have to perform better.”
Tomlin tried to downplay the Steelers’ struggles to beat the Patriots at home in a press conference with the Pittsburgh media earlier in the week.
“I am not going to assume that our guys understand the nature of this matchup and its history,” he said. “Many of our guys were not a part of this history when it started, because you are talking about 2001 and 2004.
“I am not going to assume anything,” he added. “I am going to educate our guys about this matchup and this football team.”
I think the Steelers are not going to have a problem getting keyed up for this game – coach Tomlin will make sure of it!
The Pittsburgh Steelers once again prove that they can overcome injuries and anything else that can be thrown their way. Big Ben once again had a great day, as did the offensive line in pass protection.
Run defense performed well as expected. The only slight negative was the penalties that were called on the Steeler’s secondary, as Ike Taylor had difficulty covering Larry Fitzgerald in the first half.
Here are some recaps of the game
Mental errors of a team are on the coaching staff, and the Cards had numerous penalties that allowed the Pittsburgh Steelers to keep the ball. Coach Ken Whisenhunt said, “I’m really upset that we can’t make enough plays to …
Steelers get record 95-yard TD pass in 32-20 victory over slumping Cardinals
Ben Roethlisberger came away from the Pittsburgh Steelers‘ 32-20 victory over Arizona on Sunday “a little bit disappointed.” “I don’t think we played as well as we should have,” he said. It was good enough to beat the reeling Cardinals, who have lost …
Steelers set record in victory over CardsUSA Today
Big Ben throws longest pass in Steelers history in winCBSSports.com
Big Ben’s big play boosts the SteelersBoston.com
Yahoo! Sports –San Francisco Chronicle
all 1,013 news articles »
By SuperbowlFan at 10/24/2011 7:12
By SteelersMobile at 10/24/2011 7:06
By SteelersFanZone at 10/24/2011 4:27
By AZCardinalsSigs at 10/24/2011 4:23
Pittsburgh’s next 2 games are going to be tough. They face the New England Patriots, who will be coming off a bye week, then they face the Baltimore Ravens. This will be a true test to see if the Steelers are really on the road back to the top.
Redman’s performance was anything earth shattering on the stats – it was the way he ran that got everyone excited. His second efforts was the difference in many first downs that kept Steeler drives alive. He only rushed for 49 yards, but those 49 really counted. His churning legs under his 6 foot 230 frame started to bring back memories of smash mouth Steeler football again.
Redman also did an outstanding job picking up blitzes that afforded Roethlisberger the time he needed to complete 5 TD passes – tying a the single game record.
It was the kind of performance the Steelers needed after the running game was stuck in “no-where-ville”. Much of the blame cannot be on Rashard Mendenhall’s shoulders, as the offensive line has been injury ravaged the entire season. Redman, however, found a way to get it done.
Mendenhall tweaked his hamstring in a loss to Houston a week ago and veteran Mewelde Moore spent the week in a walking boot with a leg injury. It forced the Steelers to turn to Redman and second-year back Jonathan Dwyer against the Titans, who came in with the top scoring defense in the league.
Mendenhall was available if needed against the Titans, but Redman and Dwyer made sure he could spend the afternoon recovering his injured hamstring a little longer.
“We didn’t need him,” coach Mike Tomlin said. “The thought there was if we can get out of here not utilizing him, it would benefit him in the long run and for us it would be better. Thankfully we were able to do that.”
With gutsy performances like Redman and Dwyer gave against the Titans, one can only imagine that the Steelers are back to “Steeler Football.”
Here is a great article I found on the ESPN Blog – enjoy!
Then, when Pittsburgh was without three starters in its front seven, the run defense turned in its most impressive performance of the season against Chris Johnson. The same Chris Johnson who had 2,000 yards a couple of seasons ago.
The difference with the Steelers was they weren’t reacting. They were attacking. On the stretch plays that have often caused Pittsburgh so many problems, there was pursuit and penetration.
It seemed like every time Johnson tried to cut back, there was a defender wrapping up his legs. For one of the few times this season, the tackling was as solid as the effort.
Johnson looked like his disappointing season was back on track after he gained 101 yards last week. After giving up 21 yards on the first run, Pittsburgh limited him to 30 yards on his remaining 13 carries (2.3 yards).
“We’re definitely getting back to playing Steeler football, where all 11 guys are rallying to the ball and everybody playing their responsibilities,” linebacker LaMarr Woodley said.
STAT THAT STICKS: 28 — Number of games since wide receiver Hines Ward had his last multiple-touchdown game. Reaching the end zone had become a problem for Ward, who had one touchdown in his previous 12 games.
OVERHEARD: “I saw [the Ravens’] Bryant McKinnie do it and I’m in a way better shape than he is.” Left tackle Max Starks on why he thought he could play the entire game after signing with the Steelers four days earlier.
LOOKING AHEAD: The Steelers wrap up their AFC South part of their schedule when they play host to the Jaguars (1-4), losers of four straight who have scored an AFC-low 11.8 points per game. Pittsburgh is 2-1 against the AFC South, beating Indianapolis and Tennessee while losing to Houston.